NFL

25 Sordid NFL Coaching Scandals That Rocked Football

Darren - October 15, 2021
NFL

25 Sordid NFL Coaching Scandals That Rocked Football

Darren - October 15, 2021
Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

6. Sean Payton (2013)

Payton received a one-year suspension in 2012 as a result of the “BountyGate” scandal. But that’s not the reason why he’s on this list. He took his family from New Orleans to Fort Worth, Texas for the football year. The official reason was that he wanted to put his children in an elite private school. However, there was a more sordid influence behind Payton’s decision to leave “The Big Easy” for a few months.

Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

The Saints coach cheated on his wife and college sweetheart, Beth Payton (via Bleacher Report). She allegedly demanded that they leave town and try to patch up their relationship with a change of scenery. But it didn’t work because they divorced a year later. In the end, Payton returned to Louisiana after his suspension ended. Then he became involved with Skylene Montgomery, a former Miss West Virginia.

Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

5. Bobby Petrino (2008)

Petrino infamously ditched the failing Atlanta Falcons for Arkansas during one of the toughest seasons in franchise history. After Michael Vick’s arrest, the team’s results spiraled out of control. However, nobody pointed a finger at Petrino because of the circumstances. Despite links to the Razorbacks, Petrino was adamant that he’d stay. Then, he left without saying goodbye to his players.

Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

Infamously, he hired his secret mistress as the Development Coordinator of Football (via CBS Sports). It was a fancy title but it was mostly a sordid way for him to keep her close to her. But it ended badly after a motorcycle accident. The Razorbacks fired him because he violated their hiring policies and brought the school into disrepute. Maybe he should have stayed in Georgia.

Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

4. Aaron Kromer (2015)

One of the craziest stories on this list came in 2015 when Kromer was the Bills’ offensive line coach. The news broke that Kromer allegedly assaulted a group of minors on a beach in Walton County, Florida. NBC Sports reported that Kromer became angry after the three boys stole his beach deckchairs. Then, Kromer responded angrily. He allegedly punched one boy in the face and pushed the others to the ground.

Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

Supposedly, Kramer threatened to kill their families. It’s not professional for an NFL coach to attack youths, even if they did take his chairs. The Bills suspended him for six games because it was a bad look for the franchise. However, the court dropped the charges in the end so he walked away scot-free. It was a strange and sordid story but an entertaining one.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

3. Gregg Williams (2012)

‘BountyGate’ remains one of the most infamous sports scandals ever. It’s insane that Williams thought that he would get away with it, but luckily the NFL caught wind of his sordid practices. The former Saints’ defensive coordinator set up a system where players received bonuses for injuring opposition players. It was like something out of a supervillain’s playbook, but real life.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

“It was a terrible mistake, and we knew it was wrong while we were doing it,” Williams told the media (via CBS Sports). “Instead of getting caught up in it, I should have stopped it. I take full responsibility for my role.” We’re not sure if ‘mistake’ is the right word because he reportedly had similar systems at his previous franchises. In short, he wasn’t sorry for what he did, but rather because the world found out.

Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

2. Urban Meyer (2021)

If Meyer’s Jaguars were playing well, this story wouldn’t have received so much heat. But his team was a disaster and underperforming. Then, video footage emerged of Meyer in a bar while a younger woman gyrated against him on the dance floor. It was inappropriate and humiliating because Meyer is a married man. Jacksonville owner Shahid Khan said that the coach had to work to regain his trust.

Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

Meyer revealed his remorse. “I just apologized to the team and the staff for being a distraction,” he told assembled media (via Sportskeeda). It was stupid. I explained everything that happened and owned it, and, you know, just stupid, should not have had myself in that kind of position.” Meanwhile, the young woman in the incident accused him of ruining her life. Another day in Meyer’s sordid life.

Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

1. Jon Gruden (2021)

Gruden’s sordid scandal stunned the NFL after his emails became public. He used homophobic, racist, and misogynistic language as he abused several players and NFL personalities. Also, he shared several pictures of women in bikini bottoms. In one email, he chastised the league for drafting gay players after the Rams selected Michael Sam. Meanwhile, the Raiders’ Carl Nassib became the first star to come out as an active player (via The Guardian).

Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports

He also referred to the appearance of black players in a derogatory manner. Furthermore, he called NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell a homophobic slur. Finally, after the story heated up, Gruden recognized that his race was over. He resigned because he betrayed his players and they knew it. This episode threatened to open another can of worms because he wasn’t the only coach to act this way.

Advertisement